Here in the round of 64 in high school basketball in the state of Ohio, we are going to see some big time teams play each other. In some cases, two teams that may be state final four worthy will meet two rounds early. weather it be in Division I, II, or III, these games this weekend will be worth watching.
Division I Euclid District
The district semi-finals are set. A pair of games that should feature up-tempo styles, with lots of points being scored:
#1 Mentor v.s. #4 Willoughby South…. This game should feature loads of three point shooting, as both teams like to get out and run, and fire up a bunch of three point shots. Mentor actually hit a school record 22 three’s in their win over Painesville Riverside. Willoughby South advanced with a 71-58 win over Eastlake North, and the Rebels should be ready to go against their neighbors to the north.
#3 Cleveland Heights v.s. #5 Solon…. What a story Cleveland Heights is. They finished the season at 8-14 (against a really tough schedule) but have hit their stride as of late. They are a handful. They beat #2 seed Madison by 18 points to get here. Solon has been playing very well as of late, as the grind of the Greater Cleveland Conference toughened them for the tournament. Sophomore Sincere Carry and red-hot Reid Thompson form a very dangerous duo.
Winners will meet in the district final Saturday March 5th at Euclid High School
Division I Copley District
A dream match-up is one game away. A third meeting between Brunswick and Medina, but both teams face stern tests in making it happen.
#1 Brunswick v.s. #3 Akron Hoban…. A great contrast in styles. Hoban can score, and has played a great schedule. Brunswick relies on their defense, and scores just enough it seems to win. A game that is probably being played a round early should be a great one to see. Did Hoban’s tough schedule prepare them for the defense they are going to see? Can Brunswick’s Kevin Simmons continue his hot play? Should be a great one in Copley.
#2 Medina v.s. #5 Stow…. Medina relies on 7’1″ Michigan recruit Jon Teske to anchor their defense, and is the ultimate facilitator for their three point shooters. To make a deep run in the tournament, you need a “hammer” and Teske is that for the Bees. Stow has always been a good program, tough to play against, and finds ways to win. No change in the philosophy this season. The Bulldogs are peaking at the right time, beating a 17 win Hudson team to get to this point.
Winners will meet in the district final Saturday March 5th at Copley High School.
Division II Stow District
#1 Benedictine v.s. #7 Orange…. The Bengals of Benedictine are the top seed in the district, and are playing like it. They can defend when they have to, score when they have to, and present a challenge with their athleticism whomever they play. Michigan State football recruit Justin Layne leads the team, but it has been a team effort for the Bengals to get to this point. Orange wasn’t supposed to be here, but they not only beat, but beat soundly, fourth seeded Chagrin Falls. They may be an underdog, but remember, it’s one and done, not a series of seven.
#2 Cleveland Central Catholic v.s. #3 East Tech…. WOW. This could be the best district semi-final in the state, not just in the Cleveland area. Definitely being played a least two rounds early. CCC is loaded with talent, led by 6’7″ Tervell Beck. East Tech were the darlings of the tournament two years ago, and can score at will. One of Ohio’s top juniors, guard Markell Johnson, is a scoring machine that cannot be stopped one on one. Get your popcorn ready, because this is a great one.
Winners will meet in the district final on Saturday March 5th at Stow High School.
Division III Garfield Heights District
Beachwood has advanced to the district final, and will play the winner of the game between Warrensville Heights and VASJ which will be played on March 1st. Everyone is hoping for a Beachwood/VASJ match-up, as that game (along with others) will be played a round or two early. Beachwood has been the surprise team in the Cleveland area, and has been dominant. Maishe Dailey and Ty Gibson have been a super tandem for the Bison, who own a win over Division I power Garfield Heights. If their opponent is VASJ, they will be playing a team rich in tradition, along with rich in developing players. The Vikings boast the top ranked freshman in the state in 6’6″ Alonzo Gaffney. Despite losing all five starters from last year’s state championship team, the Vikings have reloaded, and are always dangerous this time of year.
Should be a GREAT weekend of games